Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bonds of Love by Mickie B. Ashling

Bonds of Love follows the events of Impacted. You need to read Impacted first, or the second book won't make as much sense to you. I even had to go back and skim Impacted, as there was something that had happened that I'd forgotten about, so I had to go back and look to see what had happened, refresh my memory.

I really enjoyed Impacted, and appreciated much of the BDSM dynamic between Scott and Robin. The character development was well done, and the conflict was very believable. When the story ended I didn't want it to, so of course as soon as I heard about a sequel, I was all over it.

I'm pleased with the way the BDSM relationship continues, though I wanted to see more action. Bonds of Love is more about the other things going on in their life, and the BDSM takes a back seat for the most part.

Here is the blurb for Impacted:

On his way home from vacation, Scott Gregory, a closeted sub, hooks up with the gorgeous Red, a flamboyant dom, for a thrilling one-off at a BDSM bar. They part ways after a satisfying scene…but meet again when Robin Kennedy-Red-arrives at his new job as a dental hygienist and discovers one of his bosses is Scott.

Robin and Scott embark on a journey of exploration into their kinkier sides and discover they’re more than compatible-they are a perfect match. But keeping employer/employee and Dom/sub separate at the office presents difficulties, and to make matters even more complicated, the owner of the dental practice is an acknowledged homophobe.

They fall in love, but Robin chafes at all the secrecy, refusing to live in the shadows. Scott isn’t as brave; he’s desperate to protect his job and his future. Will they be able to find some middle ground…or will their entire relationship fall apart because of fear?

And the blurb for Bonds of Love:

Getting to know each other hasn't been an easy journey for Scott Gregory and Robin "Red" Kennedy. Falling in love and exploring their kinkier sides revealed a perfect match, and Scott is a devoted sub to Red's headstrong and often impulsive Dominant personality.

Scott, Robin, and their friend, Susie, open a new dental practice a short distance from the old office but miles away from Scott's former boss and his Promise Keeper mentality. But the move doesn't guarantee a happy ending. Robin's mother is in a medical crisis. Scott's grandfather makes an unexpected appearance. Ongoing interference from Jenna, Ron's needy assistant, stirs up trouble. And Susie, having completed her training as a Dominatrix, is on a quest for the perfect male submissive.

Then there's one more threat to their relationship: Robin's desire for a public collaring, something the shy and formerly closeted Scott is having a really hard time accepting. Is a strong and binding love?albeit a kinky one?enough to keep Scott and Robin together?

BDSM elements in Bonds of Love:
  • Bondage and Discipline:  Some bondage, not so much discipline. 1 of  3
  • Dominance and Submission: Yes, but it's not a big part of the story this time. 2 of 3.
  • Sadism and Masochism: Again, yes - but it's not a big enough part of the story. 2 of 3.
  • Extra Point: Not giving the extra point this time. 
As for the writing elements: the plot is a good one, the pacing has some issues but nothing major, the prose and dialogue are excellent, and the character development is very well done.

Book Rating: Bonds of Love: 8 of 10
Heat Level: 3 of 5
BDSM Intensity: 5 of 10

My memories of Impacted had a lot more BDSM, and a lot more intensity. It's been a while since I read it, but I believe that I enjoyed it a great deal more than I enjoyed Bonds of Love. I'm happy to have read what came next in Scott and Robin's lives, but I wish we'd seen more of their BDSM activities.

1. Impacted
2. Bonds of Love 


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